Michael digs in the bargain barrel to find Value Picks at the end of your draft, including Edwin Encarnacion, Brent Morel, Ian Stewart, and Travis Hafner
The early stages of a fantasy draft are like shopping in an upscale department store. It’s easy to find what you want and you know all the brands, but it’s pricey too. The late stages, on the other hand, are more like shopping at a thrift store. You never know whether you’ll find something you like and you’re lucky to find a name you recognize, but anything can be had for just a few bucks. And while fantasy seasons can be lost in the early rounds from overpayment and injury, they’re usually won in the middle and late rounds, when scouting and shrewd valuation can help you find the thrift-store jewel that everyone else passed over.
So this week, I’m looking at the thrift-store, bargain-barrel phase of your draft: round twenty and beyond. All of these designated hitters and corner infielders are being drafted then, and they’re all projected by PECOTA to earn $5 or less in standard leagues. This latter group includes other good players like David Freese, Justin Morneau, Mike Moustakas, Chipper Jones, and Todd Helton, but their Average Draft Position is higher than their PECOTA projections. In classic department-store style, owners are overpaying for name-brand merchandise.
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Michael looks at Value Picks to be found in the first-base battles in Cleveland and Pittsburgh
Part of the excitement of Spring Training is watching Opening Day rosters take shape—usually, this involves whether a top prospect will start the year in the minors or which utility man grabs the final bench spot. Less often, we get to watch two players compete for the right to start, an especially important choice at the power position of first base. While both Cleveland and Pittsburgh seems to have made their choices at the cold corner, there are still some other options that could rise to the challenge and bring value to their fantasy owners.
In Michael’s column this week, he looks at San Francisco’s first base battle, as well as how injuries are affecting the values of Ike Davis and Justin Morneau.
Two of the main considerations for real-world and fantasy baseball managers during Spring Training are injuries (which I looked at last week) and playing time. This week, I’ll look at a little of both at first base, starting with the Giants’ positional battle and moving onto the futures of two players with mysterious—or at least difficult-to-detect—ailments.
In this week’s Value Picks, Michael shows you how to love the players that other owners hate, including Carlos Pena, James Loney, Mat Gamel, Brent Morel, and Chase Headley.
Over the last twoweeks, I’ve looked at several players that are easy to love based on their history and PECOTA’s projection for a resurgent season. As a result, for many of those players—such as Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, and David Wright—their ADPs tended to closely match their PECOTA rankings. What about the players you (or opposing owners) love to hate? These guys have an ADP below their PECOTA rankings because they’ve disappointed in the past or are just misunderstood by most fantasy owners.
So this week, we get into the real Value Picks—those players outside the Usual Suspects which you can squeeze some value out of. Just like bad medicine, you may find some of this hard to swallow come Draft Day, but it’ll be good for your fantasy team if taken in the right doses. Let’s face it: sometimes it’s good to be hated.
Michael looks at some expected (and unexpected) values among PECOTA projections for corner infielders in 2012
As Draft Day approaches, many owners must make last-minute keeper decisions, which are often more complex than the binary, keep-him-or-dump-him variety of decision-making. In many leagues, owners can’t keep players for free; instead, a keeper’s cost depends on his Draft Day acquisition price or his 2011 performance. For these decisions, it’s helpful to identify rebound players—those who PECOTA projects will increase in value in 2012—although owners in redraft leagues will also find it helpful to identify Draft Day bargains. When your competitors are short-sighted, as is often the case, they will undervalue these rebound candidates, and owners in snake drafts can see who might slip to later rounds as a result.
Continuing last week’s theme, I’m looking at those players whose value is projected to rebound the most in 2012, leaving out players who lost most of the season due to injury or who should return less than $5 in 2012. Because PECOTA tends to project players conservatively, it’s notable when it expects top-shelf players to increase in value for 2012. I was surprised to find some of the names below, and I expect that BP Fantasy readers will be too.
Now that the new PECOTA projections are out, Michael looks at which fantasy corner infielders you might fall in love with this Valentine’s Day.
For those who have just fallen in love with fantasy baseball, draft day can seem like a box of chocolates: you never know what you might get. Will you get the coveted chocolate caramel, the dreaded orange cream, or the boring plain milk chocolate? Of course, savvy fantasy owners know to come armed with projections and predictions, and the wisest fantasy owners look to Baseball Prospectus for guidance. What better way to distinguish coconut from cherry-filled chocolate—or next year’s Matt Kemp from Carl Crawford?
Like any fantasy lover, I tore into last week’s PECOTA release with reckless abandon to come up with some sweet finds for next season—aka the players predicted for the biggest turnaround (or, if you like, the ones you can catch on the rebound.) Using the Player Forecast Manager, I found the corner infielders and designated hitters with the heftiest projected increase in dollar value, excluding those who are projected to remain below the $5 threshold or who missed most of last season. Rankings are based on a 12-team mixed league, and Average Draft Position (ADP) comes from mockdraftcentral.com.
What to make of fantasy players shifting across the diamond? Michael looks at the fallout of the Fielder signing, plus potential position moves by Miguel Cabrera, Mark Trumbo, and the already-certain moves of Hanley Ramirez
For fantasy owners, the difference between first- and third-base eligibility is huge—at least in leagues that ignore defense. That defensive liability can still have repercussions in real-world baseball, however, which trickles down to fantasy if a player can’t stick at the hot corner. Last week’s news featured several players going from the right side of the diamond to the left, but not all of those moves may be permanent and not all may be beneficial.
Michael looks at the implication of the recent Cub trade, along with the newest Ray, Luke Scott, plus two excellent third basemen
Since last week’s column, Chicago hedged its first base bets by acquiring another Triple-A masher, while Luke Scott and Tampa Bay have reportedly come to terms on a one-year deal. But other teams (and fantasy owners) continue to await the fates of bigger names like Prince Fielder, Carlos Pena, Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guererro. Until those long-delayed deals come to fruition, I’ll look at two other fantasy options at the infield corners, one a personal favorite of mine. If you’ve got any faves that haven’t been covered, leave your suggestions in the comments section.
In his continuing exploration of keeper options at the infield corners and designated hitter, Michael looks at two namesakes--Morse and Young--as well as Ryan Zimmerman and Andruw Jones.
This week was light on fantasy-relevant news, as general managers are still taking down their Christmas lights, putting the tree out on the curb, and waiting to see who can wrap Prince Fielder as a belated gift to their teams. But we at BP Fantasy can still start your New Year off right with a look at some under- and over-performing keeper options from 2011.
If you’d like to see someone else written up here, please leave your suggestions in the comments field—and if I’ve covered them before, I’ll point you towards the appropriate column.
Michael looks at several keepers to be handled with kid gloves, or not at all, including Casey Blake, Jesus Montero, Edwin Encarnacion, and Mark Reynolds
Keeper debates are some of the best discussions in fantasy, livening up the offseason and revealing the strategies—and possibly the personalities—of owners and analysts and the leagues we play in. For example, I tend to stick with more established players rather than hot young rookies, but my keeper leagues have shallow keeper rosters to improve year-to-year parity.
But I know other owners who love to take long shots and deep cuts, just so they can brag about the depth of their baseball knowledge. Other owners use keepers to anchor in-season strategy, locking up certain categories before Draft Day even begins. This week I’ll look at a few players that appeal to various keeper strategies, starting with the one signing of note since my last column. If you’ve got a keeper you’d like to hear about, leave your suggestion in the comments section.